AFL recruits get reality check

Written By Unknown on Senin, 07 Januari 2013 | 14.43

Young Richmond ruckman Liam McBean, centre, listens in during a seminar at today's AFL induction camp. Picture: Andy Drewitt Source: Herald Sun

Former Richmond forward Nathan Brown was one of the guest speakers at today's AFL induction camp for first-year players. Picture: Andy Drewitt Source: Herald Sun

THE newest crop of AFL footballers were told today of the series of setbacks they can expect to encounter during their careers which on average will last only six seasons.

Former Richmond and Western Bulldogs forward Nathan Brown told the 106 first year players at the AFL players' induction camp at Etihad Stadium of the horrific broken leg he suffered with the Tigers in 2005.

The newcomers were shown the sickening replay of Brown's foot facing the wrong way after his leg snapped.

But it just wasn't the broken leg, mended with the help of a metal rod, which Brown said was his only setback but his haste to get back for the opening round of the following season to play against the Bulldogs probably robbed him of 80 or 90 games of footy.

Brown said he suffered on-going problems with the leg after his hasty comeback and admitted he shouldn't have returned for at least 12 months, instead of trying to be a "big man'' so he could line up against the Bulldogs.

Other former and current players, plus AFL Players' Association staff, discussed and conducted workshops on a range of topics relevant to young players and what services and support are available to them.

The players will be taken through the AFL's various respect and responsibility policies today, including illicit drugs and gambling.

AFLPA general manager of player development Brett Johnson said it was important for the players to realise early in their careers that there is life after football.

"It's getting harder and harder for players so it's important that our services keep pace,'' Johnson said.

He said some mature-aged recruits had already worked fulltime or had degrees and had a good understanding of the balance required compared to the majority of new players who had come straight from school.

With 13 per cent of players having multi-cultural backgrounds, and another nine per cent being indigenous last year, Johnson said it was important to cater for everyone.

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